Space heater ignites sheets, seriously injures man in Gaithersburg

Firefighters believe a fire in a Gaithersburg town house originated in a basement bedroom, where a space heater ignited bed linens. (Courtesy MCFRS/Pete Piringer)

Two people are injured and three have been displaced after a Wednesday night house fire in Gaithersburg, Maryland, that investigators traced back to a bedroom space heater that ignited sheets on a bed.

The fire caused over $500,000 in damage to the town house.

Montgomery County first responders were dispatched to a town house fire in the 800 block of Bayridge Drive, just north of Quince Orchard Road, around 11:30 p.m.

Crews arrived to find a widespread fire in the three-story building’s basement, which had spread and caused the first floor to collapse.

A man was rescued from the basement and taken to a hospital in critical condition suffering from significant burn injuries and smoke inhalation, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer told WTOP.

Several other occupants got out safely after hearing a smoke alarm; one additional adult was treated for minor injuries.

Investigators believe the fire started when a space heater running near a bed in the basement caused the bedsheets to ignite. The man who was later rescued from the basement had tried to escape and left the bedroom’s door open, allowing the flames to spread, Piringer said.

Sixty-five firefighters assisted in putting out the blaze, Piringer tweeted.

Below is a map of the area:

WTOP’s Fonda Mwangi contributed to this report.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up